DEADLINE EXTENDED The Invention and Reinvention of Decolonization: Rethinking the ‘Waves’ Narrative

Mark Thurner's picture
Call for Papers
June 21, 2018 to June 22, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Nationalism History / Studies, World History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations


The Invention and Reinvention of Decolonization: Rethinking the ‘Waves’ Narrative

School of Advanced Study, Senate House, LONDON, JUNE 21-22, 2018

Was ‘decolonization’ a European invention designed to ease the ‘White Man’s Burden’ and pave the way for a neo-colonial system of extraction and dependency?  Was it a Latin American invention intended to undo ‘the colonial system?’  Or was it an Indian, French Algerian or Caribbean invention?  All the above?  Is the received ‘wave’ narrative (first, second, third, fourth waves) currently used to tell the global history of decolonization still adequate to the task?  Or would notions such as ‘invention’ and ‘reinvention’ be more useful?

Confirmed Keynotes:

Professor Stuart Ward, (University of Copenhagen), author of British Culture and the End of Empire.

Professor Dane Kennedy (George Washington University), author of Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction.

We seek papers that address any of the following:

  • When, where and how was the concept and act of ‘decolonization’ invented or reinvented?
  • The circulation and deployment of concepts or cognate concepts of decolonization and independence across linguistic and imperial spheres
  • The invention or reinvention of the concepts or cognate concepts of ‘colonialism’ and ‘anti-colonialism’
  • Assessments and critiques of the ‘waves’ narrative of decolonization
  • Case studies that engage any of the above

Please submit a 200-word abstract, paper title, and one-page biographical note copied jointly to Professor Philip Murphy ( and Professor Mark Thurner ( by Monday 12 March 2018.

Contact Info: 

Institute of Latin American Studies

University of London

Senate House, Malet Street


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